Lyapis Trubetskoy

Lyapis Trubetskoy (Russ: Ляпис Трубецкой, Belo: Ляпіс Трубяцкі) was a Belorussian band whose sound ranged over their twenty-five year career from punk rock to ska to folk. The band took their name from Il’f and Petrov’s 1927 novel Twelve Chairs (Двенадцать стульев), adopting the pen name of the novel’s main character.

Lyapis Trubetskoy started in Minsk, Belorussia in 1989 and almost immediately started playing live shows and festivals. From the beginning, the band mostly centered around its de facto leader, Sergei Mikhalok (Сергей Михалок), who founded the group and stayed until the end.

In 1996 the band was offered the chance to record a studio album at producer Evgenii Kravtsov’s Mezzo Forte studio. The resulting cassette release, called Rennet Heart (Ранетое сердце) completely sold out on its first day, and an additional thirty thousand copies were created. That same year Lyapis Trubetskoy won three out of four possible awards at Belarus’s music awards show Rock Coronation 96 (Рок-коронация-96). After a yearlong hiatus from performing, Lyapis Trubetskoy put out their second album, You Threw (Ты кинула), which brought them notoriety in Russia as well as Belarus.

In 2001 Lyapis Trubetskoy’s first music video came out for the song  “Pigeons” (“Голуби”), which reached the number one rotation spot on MTV Russia shortly thereafter. The band saw similar success with their second music video, “Sochi” (“Сочи”), named for the Russian vacation town, which came out the next year

The band spent two years writing their next album. It was released in 2004 as Golden Eggs (Золотые яйцы) and showed a strong ska and reggae influence. The success of this album got Lyapis Trubetskoy the chance to record songs for several soundtracks, including the television program Men Don’t Cry (Мужчины не плачут), and Sergei Bobrov’s 2005 film The Last Slaughter (Последний забой).

After a slew of hits over the next few years, the group released their eighth studio album, the political satire Capital (Капитал).

Lyapis Trubetskoy stayed incredibly active in the studio and on stage until 2014. That year the group announced their decision to dissolve, playing their final concert in St. Petersburg. Members of Lyapis Trubetskoy have gone on to form two related projects, the bands Brutto and Trubetskoy.

Find Lyapis Trubetskoy on Amazon

 

Here is “Lights” (“Огоньки”) off of the political satire album Capital:

Lyrics for “Огоньки”:

Глупые снежинки тают на гирляндах
Розовые свинки пьяные на санках
Мандарины на снегу рассыпал кто-то
Вокруг ёлок скоморохи, хороводы

Огоньки..
Снеговичок заплакал, устал
Огоньки…
Вот дурачок, растаял, упал

Грустные вороны, битые игрушки
Девочки в коронах, мальчики – зверюшки
А морковку два пьянтоса утянули
Огоньки в холодной луже утонули

Огоньки..
Снеговичок заплакал, устал
Огоньки…
Вот дурачок, растаял, упал

 

Here is a more recent track showing Lyapis Trubetskoy’s characteristic mix of punk and ska. The track is called “Iron” (“Железный”):

Lyrics for “Железный”:

Я вырос в Алтайском крае,
Немцы, казахи, татары,
Я видел как ветер играет,
В антеннах военных радаров.
Мои кулаки из бронзы,
В сердце красная ртуть,
Мой грозный учитель Гонза,
Свиньям меня не согнуть!

Я должен был умереть ещё 20 лет назад,
Так хули мне бояться за свой железный зад!?
Я должен был сдохнуть, лежать среди камней,
Так хули мне бояться этих тупых свиней!?

Я видел туманы Камчатки,
Ямбург и Кайеркан,
Байкал на моей сетчатке,
Урал и Казахстан!
Мои друзья повсюду,
Давят системных червей!
Матричные Иуды,
Везде гребут пиздюлей!

Я должен был умереть ещё 20 лет назад,
Так хули мне бояться за свой железный зад!?
Я должен был сдохнуть, лежать среди камней,
Так хули мне бояться этих тупых свиней!?

 

Find Lyapis Trubetskoy on Amazon

Zach Hicks is a PhD student in Comparative Literature at the University of Oregon. He is currently participating in SRAS's Home and Abroad scholarship program. His main areas of interest are twentieth-century Russian and Soviet literature, socialist modernism, and critical theory. Outside of academics his major interests are martial arts, the outdoors, and music. In Russia, he plans to continue to increase his language proficiency, to learn as much as possible about the Russian underground music scene, its tattoo culture, and to become a student of Russia’s native martial art, SAMBO.